What you need to know
- Google has created a COVID-19 hub dedicated to highlighting in-depth coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Assistant will now be able to offer discrete responses to coronavirus news queries as a result of this backend change.
- Google's Search homepage will also celebrate health workers and other essential workers this week.
Google is making it easier to access and engage with news revolving around COVID-19. In the Google News app and website, the company has added a new COVID-19 landing page. Upon navigating there from the homepage, you'll be able to see, at a glance, all the top stories on the pandemic. It'll be a bit more organized as well, with local news being front and center. The purpose is to let individuals have a grasp of any important updates in their area like lockdowns, testing centers, or even just health updates of local political figures.
On a broader scale, the new hub will let you drill down into coronavirus news by topic or by region. No place or industry in the world is untouched at the moment, and Google wants to make it easier to read in-depth into how it affects areas like healthcare and travel.
These tweaks reach into Search itself. It'll now surface tweets by public health authorities which are now often used as a mechanism for sharing announcements and information to the public.
Finally, Google Assistant will now be able to answer questions like "Hey Google, what's the latest news on coronavirus?" and "Hey Google, play news about coronavirus in New York."
This new News experience will bee made available in 10 countries and regions, expanding to more within the coming weeks while the new Assistant experience will be available globally in 10 languages.
Google will also be launching Google Doodles which recognize the doctors, nurses, teachers, food service workers and so on who remain on the front lines and keep providing essential services to those struck down by the disease or at home.